Electronic Product Design Progress Report: Week 1

Project:

For this semester, I chose to create a portable MIDI controller that will allow one to dock a phone and use like a gaming controller. Often, I create music on train trips using my and hate inputting notes on the tiny keyboards presented on screen.

Having already built a MIDI controller that uses IR distance sensors and a Teensy for a algorithmic composition project last semester, I have experience working with MIDI commands over USB.

Here is a mock-up of the final design:

bluetoothMidiController.png

Features:

  • Bluetooth LE Connectivity

  • 1.5 Octave Range Keyboard

  • Octave Selection Keys

  • Power Button

  • Bluetooth pairing button

  • RGB status light

    • Magenta / Red / Orange / Yellow / White = Octave Selection Status & Power

    • Blue = Bluetooth Pairing Mode

  • 500 mAh battery and USB Micro Charging Port

Chosen Platform for Testing:

Initially, I was going to use Android for my testing device. However, I discovered that the two major Android apps used for music creation, FL Studio and Caustic, did not have support for MIDI over Bluetooth LE. Conversely, every iOS synthesizer app that I tested was fully supported. Therefore, iOS will be the target platform until a solution can be created or found.

Perceived Challenges:

The two biggest challenges that I will have to overcome are latency from the Bluetooth connection and designing a case that will latch onto different phone sizes.

Initial Bill of Materials:

Annotation 2019-02-03 172614.jpg

Breadboard Design and Testing: